Every April, Animal Cruelty Prevention Month brings the issue of animal suffering to the forefront. It provides much-needed attention to a problem that has gone largely ignored for too long. Whether you are an outspoken animal advocate or simply cannot stand the idea of needless pain and suffering inflicted upon any creature, this month is your chance to do something meaningful in helping spread awareness while also making lifestyle changes that support ethical treatment towards animals. For those interested in joining the fight against cruelty, this blog post will outline some unique ways you can get involved during Animal Cruelty Prevention Month.
Looking Deeper At Animal Cruelty Prevention
Animal Cruelty Prevention Month takes place every April since 2006, and it is an opportunity to recognize animal cruelty and what we can do to prevent it. Throughout this time, animal lovers have worked tirelessly to help animals worldwide. From something as simple as adopting a shelter animal or volunteering at animal welfare organizations and sanctuaries, there are countless ways to help protect animals and create a more humane society. This month we invite you to join us in the fight against animal cruelty by learning more about animal protection and ways you can make an impactful difference. Let’s come together to send a unified message that animal abuse of any kind is unacceptable.
Animal Cruelty in History & The Journey to Animal Cruelty Prevention Month
Animal cruelty prevention has been an essential movement since it was first proposed in the early 20th century. Early animal activists worked tirelessly to raise awareness of animal neglect and abuse and campaigned for animal cruelty laws. However, it wasn’t until 2006 that Animal Cruelty Prevention Month was established. Since then, animal activists have championed animal rights education, humane legislation initiatives, spay/neuter programs, and animal rescue groups. However, animal cruelty has existed worldwide since as early as 1300 BC. Let’s look at a timeline of events leading us to where we are now in our fight against animal cruelty.
- 1300 B.C. Cats are Burnt Alive: Throughout the Middle Ages, many Europeans held superstitious beliefs and consequently burned cats alive due to their belief that cats were connected with witches and associated with Satan.
- 80 A.D. The Colosseum Opens: On the day of its grand opening, Emperor Titus proudly presented the Colosseum to Roman citizens by massacring over 5,000 animals in celebration. This grisly event set off a chilling chain of events that would span centuries and normalize bloodshed for entertainment purposes.
- 1634 The Irish Animal Protection Law: Ireland’s Parliament passed one of the earliest pieces of animal welfare legislation: An Act to prevent Plowing by the Tayle and ripping Wool from living Sheep.
- 1641 First Animal Cruelty Laws Passed: The Massachusetts Bay Colony’s Body of Liberties was the first to enact laws that prohibited animal cruelty and abuse in America.
- 1809 Animal Abuse in Parliament: The pioneering Lord Thomas Erskine took a bold stand for animal welfare as he addressed the British Parliament about the injustices of abuse, thus becoming the first ever to speak on this topic in front of an official legislative court.
- 1822 The British Parliament Livestock Protection Law: In 1822, Richard Martin spearheaded the passing of a revolutionary Act by the British Parliament to protect cattle from mistreatment and abuse.
- 1866 The American Society For Animal Cruelty Prevention: Established in 1866, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has been a leader in protecting animals from abuse ever since.
- 1961 The First Orca is Captured: In 1961, the world’s first orca was captured off the coast of British Columbia and brought to America as a show animal. This marked the beginning of our current marine mammal captivity crisis.
- 1971 The Animal Welfare Act: The animals used in research are excluded and put under protection by the Animal Welfare Act.
- 2014 The American Cruelty Investigations School: The American Animal Cruelty Investigations School gives training to law enforcement and animal care and control professionals.
How to Get Involved During Animal Cruelty Prevention Month
The fight against animal cruelty is ongoing and requires the participation of all. Animal Cruelty Prevention Month serves as an opportunity for people to learn more about animal rights and join forces in protecting animals from abuse. Here are some simple ways you can get involved during this month:
- Be a responsible pet owner: Spay/neuter your pet, provide proper care and nutrition, keep them safe and socialized, and be sure they are up-to-date on their vaccinations.
- Adopt Then Shop: Adopting an animal companion from a shelter or rescue organization can save two lives at once – the life of the animal you are adopting and the life of the animal that can occupy their space.
- Volunteer: Find a local shelter or rescue organization in need of volunteer help. Many organizations have ongoing needs such as walking dogs, providing administrative support, fundraising and more. Donate: Donations to shelters, rescues, sanctuaries and other animal welfare organizations are always welcomed and put to good use.
- Educate Others: Spread the word about animal cruelty prevention. Talk with family, friends and colleagues about the importance of treating animals humanely and keeping them safe from harm.
- Speak Up: Help support laws that protect animals from abuse or exploitation. Reach out to your local representatives and let them know how important animal protection is to you.
- Teach Your Children to have Respect for Animals: Kids learn by example, so be a positive role model when it comes to humane animal care. Encourage them to treat animals with kindness and respect.
- Understand the Link Between Animal Abuse and Domestic Violence: It is critical to recognize that neglecting animals may be linked to domestic violence. Animal abuse and family violence are strongly associated, so by reporting any suspicions of mistreatment, you could potentially help both the animal in distress as well as their owners.
These are just some of the ways you can get involved during Animal Cruelty Prevention Month – and all year long. Have fun discovering new ways to help make a difference for animals in need. By taking action, you can play an important role in protecting animals from abuse and neglect. Together, we can create a world where all animals are respected and treated with kindness.
If you have witnessed animal abuse or animal cruelty you can also call WPP’s Animal Abuse Hotline (844) 728-2729 to report it anonymously.